With the troubles of the Belgian Grand Prix where Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton collided, ruining both of their races, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS management team arrive at Monza hopeful that the events at Spa-Francorchamps are firmly in the past and that both drivers can put their full focus and efforts into the remaining eight races of the season.
Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff is insistent that the team put their troubles from Belgium behind them and focus on the forthcoming race at Monza, and to get their season back on track. He feels the team have not delivered to their full potential in recent races, especially when they appear to have the quickest car on the grid.
“After a tough weekend in Belgium, our attention is now fully focused on the next race at Monza,” insists Wolff. “We have a quick car but we have not delivered our full potential in recent races and that must be our target this weekend. It’s no less than the people at Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart deserve, with everyone working flat out to ensure we finish the job this season.
“Of course, Spa was a reminder to us as a team that our competition are never far away and we must continue to tackle every weekend as if it could be the defining moment of our season.
“Monza is a fantastic venue – a legendary circuit with incredible fans and a truly great standing in motorsport history. When the Silver Arrows first took on the Italian Grand Prix back in the 1950s it could not have been a better story, with victories in both races. We approach this weekend with a repeat of that achievement firmly in our sights.”
Executive Director (Technical) Paddy Lowe had mixed emotions following the race at Spa-Francorchamps, with the final result overshadowing a strong performance from both drivers. The unique nature of Monza will bring the team a different challenge, but he is expecting another solid race from both Rosberg and Hamilton.
“Despite the end result, it was encouraging to see the potential of our car in Belgium – both in wet and dry conditions as we saw during qualifying and the race respectively,” said Lowe. “Spa, of course, brings with it quite unique aerodynamic requirements – also a factor at Monza, which sees the lowest drag configuration of the year. We therefore approach this weekend very much in the hope of showing similar pace to that seen in Spa.
“Demands on the cars at Monza are numerous and significant – with long straights, tight chicanes and high kerbs making it particularly tough on engines, brakes and suspension. The drivers spend a large portion of the lap at full throttle and temperatures can often be relatively high, so there is plenty to manage in terms of both endurance and set-up to maximise performance.
“It’s a fantastic location for a Grand Prix. Weaving through parkland and with many elements of the original layout – including the spectacular high banking – still present as a reminder of the heritage and standing this place holds within world motorsport. The fans too are second to none in terms of their passion and enthusiasm – and that’s what makes Formula One such a great sport.
“The combination of each of these aspects makes it all the more special and satisfying to win at Monza. It’s a venue that has produced mixed results for both of our drivers in the past, with last year’s race proving to be a tough test for the team as a whole. We fully intend to rectify that this time around.”